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WWE Hardcore Championship
The WWE Hardcore Championship was a hardcore wrestling championship in WWE (formerly the World Wrestling Federation) and was contested under "hardcore" rules (no disqualifications, no countouts, and pinfalls count anywhere). In the latter part of the title's history, a rule was implemented allowing anyone to challenge the champion at any place or time, provided a referee was present (dubbed the "24/7 Rule").

HistoryEdit

Vince McMahon awarded Mankind the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Hardcore Championship on November 2, 1998. After Mankind lost the title to The Big Boss Man, he never attempted to recapture it, mainly because of the main event push he received shortly afterward. At the time of conception, the idea was for the belt to be used in comedy segments to play on Mankind's reputation as a hardcore wrestler. But, as Mankind and hardcore wrestling became more popular with audiences, the Hardcore Championship became a more serious title. Its popularity led competitor World Championship Wrestling to create its own Hardcore Championship, a move followed by numerous independent promotions.

24/7 RulesEdit

When Crash Holly won the belt, he introduced the "24/7 rule" which said the belt was to be defended at all times, as long as a referee was present. This allowed for many comic relief moments, such as the belt changing hands while the champion was asleep, and The Headbangers chasing Crash Holly around an amusement park in Brooklyn (Holly eventually escaped from a ball pit and ran from the building, still the champion).

At WWE WrestleMania 18, Maven defended the title against Goldust. After they knocked each other out with trash can lids, Spike Dudley entered and pinned Maven to win the title. Then, in the backstage area, The Hurricane pinned Spike for the title. Mighty Molly (The Hurricane's sidekick) told The Hurricane to go to the "Hurri-cycle" before knocking him out with a frying pan when his back was turned and pinning him. While looking for a safe place, Christian won the title by pinning Molly after hitting her in the head with a door. As he was about to leave the building in a taxi, he was attacked and pinned by Maven, who regained the title and escaped in the taxi.

Trish Stratus faced Jazz (managed by then-Hardcore Champion Stevie Richards) for the Women's Championship, and lost due to Richards' interference. After the match, Bubba Ray Dudley attacked Richards from behind and pinned him for the title. Raven appeared and pinned Dudley, but quickly lost the title to Justin Credible, who was then pinned by Crash Holly. Dudley hit Holly with a trash can, but Stratus stole the pin on him. Dudley tried to attack Stratus from behind, but Jazz sprayed him with a fire extinguisher. Richards then stole the final pin of the night after Dudley accidentally powerbombed Stratus through a wooden table.

This rule has allowed the shortest title reigns and quickest title changes in WWE history. Four women have held the Hardcore Championship: Molly Holly, Trish Stratus, Terri Runnels, and The Godfather's ho. The championship often changed hands at house shows, to give the audience a "big moment". In the end, the title always returned to its original holder.

At WWE WrestleMania 16 a battle royal match, in the style of Championship Scramble was booked where the title changed hands 10 times during the 15 minutes. The eventual winner was Hardcore Holly.

Between the Invasion storyline and WWE WrestleMania 18, the "24/7" rule was only used twice, during matches on the RAW editions of August 13, 2001 and September 10, 2001 respectively. Both matches were coincidentally between Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam. On the August 13 edition, Jeff Hardy interfered and brought a referee with him, and pinned Van Dam for the title, setting up a match for them at that year's Summerslam. On the September 10 edition, however, Angle won the match, then was thrown off the entrance ramp by Steve Austin, who then also threw Van Dam off the ramp too. Van Dam landed on Angle and a referee counted the pin.

After the Invasion storyline, The Undertaker won the title from Van Dam. He defended against numerous opponents (usually smaller than him) and assaulted them after the matches (with the exception of Big Show). After Maven won the belt from The Undertaker on the February 5, 2002 SmackDown, the 24/7 rule resumed.

The 24/7 rule ended on August 19, 2002 when Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff suspended it after a six-minute Hardcore Battle Royal, won by Tommy Dreamer. Previously, a 24-hour suspension on the rule was in place for Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy's match at WWF Invasion. Commissioner Mick Foley also suspended the rule while Shane McMahon held the belt, to ensure he was still the champion at SummerSlam, to defend against Steve Blackman, whom he cheated out of the belt.

In 2005, a somewhat similar concept was created for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship titles with the Money in the Bank briefcase. The championship isn't always up for grabs like the Hardcore title was, but the holder of the briefcase can challenge whomever the champion is at any time, any venue in the middle of the ring in an official one-on-one title match with no advance notice within a year of winning the annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The practice is still active, with a new briefcase holder being decided at WWE's annual Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View.

Unification and retirementEdit

The title was unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship on August 26, 2002, when Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam defeated Hardcore Champion Tommy Dreamer. This was one month after Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy in a ladder match to unify the Intercontinental and the WWE European Championship.

On the June 23, 2003 episode of Raw, Mick Foley (who was the first champion, as "Mankind") was awarded the WWE Hardcore Championship belt (but not the championship) by the Raw authority figure, Stone Cold Steve Austin, for his contributions to hardcore wrestling.

Edge and Foley declared themselves co-holders of the championship in 2006, as part of a storyline involving alumni of the hardcore wrestling-based Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion. The title was not defended and soon quietly disappeared.

Origin of the beltEdit

The WWE Hardcore Championship belt is a replica of the "Winged Eagle" WWF Championship title, which was smashed in several places and reassembled with two pieces of duct tape, and inscribed with the words "Hardcore" and "Champion" in marker.

When Bradshaw won the title in June 2002, he briefly renamed it the Texas Hardcore Championship, and wore a belt customized with the Texas flag and artificial bull horns. The original design returned when Raven reclaimed the championship. Tommy Dreamer used a variation of the belt with a New York license plate as a centerplate, right over a replica of a European Championship.

Championship LineageEdit

  • Mankind - November 2, 1998 - WWE Raw is War
  • Big Boss Man - November 30, 1998 - WWE Raw is War
  • Road Dogg - December 21, 1998 - WWE Raw is War
  • Bob Holly - February 14, 1999 = WWF In Your House 27: St. Valentine's Day Massacre
  • Billy Gunn - March 15, 1999 - WWE Raw is War
  • Hardcore Holly - March 28, 1999 - WWE WrestleMania 15
  • Al Snow - April 25, 1999 - WWF In Your House 28: Backlash
  • Big Boss Man 2 - July 25, 1999 - WWF Fully Loaded 1999
  • Al Snow 2 - August 22, 1999 - WWE SummerSlam 1999
  • Big Boss Man 3 - August 26, 1999 - WWE SmackDown
  • The British Bulldog - September 9, 1999 - WWE SmackDown
  • Al Snow 3 - September 9, 1999 - WWE SmackDown
  • Big Boss Man 4 - October 14, 1999 - WWE SmackDown
  • Test - January 17, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Crash Holly - February 24, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Pete Gas - March 13, 2000 - WWE Raw is War / Newark Airport
  • Crash Holly 2 - March 13, 2000 - WWE Raw is War / Newark Airport
  • Tazz - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Viscera - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Funaki - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Rodney - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Joey Abs - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Thrasher - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Pete Gas 2 - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Tazz 2 - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Crash Holly 3 - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Hardcore Holly 3 - April 2, 2000 - WWE WrestleMania 16
  • Crash Holly 4 - April 3, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Perry Saturn - April 13, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Tazz 3 - April 13, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Crash Holly 5 - April 13, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Matt Hardy - April 24, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Crash Holly 6 - April 27, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • The British Bulldog 2 - May 6, 2000 - - WWE Insurrextion 2000
  • Crash Holly 7 - May 11, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Godfather's Ho - May 15, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Crash Holly 8 - May 15, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Gerald Brisco - May 18, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Crash Holly 9 - June 12, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Gerald Brisco 2 - June 19, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Pat Patterson - June 19, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Crash Holly 10 - June 25, 2000 - WWE King of the Ring 2000
  • Steve Blackman - June 29, 2000 - WWE SmackDown
  • Crash Holly 11 - July 2, 2000 - Live Event
  • Steve Blackman 2 - July 2, 2000 - Live Event
  • Shane McMahon - August 21, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Steve Blackman 3 - August 27, 2000 - WWE SummerSlam 2000
  • Crash Holly 12 - September 24, 2000 - WWE Unforgiven 2000
  • Perry Saturn 2 - September 24, 2000 - WWE Unforgiven 2000
  • Steve Blackman 4 - September 24, 2000 - WWE Unforgiven 2000
  • Raven - December 22, 2000 - WWE Raw is War
  • Al Snow 4 - January 22, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Raven 2 - January 22, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • K-Kwik - February 3, 2001 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 13 - February 3, 2001 - Live Event
  • Raven 3 - February 3, 2001 - Live Event
  • K-Kwik 2 - February 4, 2001 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 14 - February 4, 2001 - Live Event
  • Raven 4 - February 4, 2001 - Live Event
  • Hardcore Holly 4 - February 8, 2001 - WWE SmackDown
  • Raven 5 - February 8, 2001 - WWE SmackDown
  • Hardcore Holly 5 - February 10, 2001 - Live Event
  • Raven 6 - February 10, 2001 - Live Event
  • Hardcore Holly 6 - February 11, 2001 - Live Event
  • Al Snow 5- February 11, 2001 - Live Event
  • Raven 7 - February 11, 2001 - Live Event
  • Steve Blackman 5 - February 17, 2001 - Live Event
  • Raven 8 - February 17, 2001 - Live Event
  • Steve Blackman 6 - February 18, 2001 - Live Event
  • Raven 9 - February 18, 2001 - Live Event
  • Billy Gunn 2 - February 25, 2001 - WWE No Way Out 2001
  • Raven 10 - February 25, 2001 - WWE No Way Out 2001
  • Big Show - February 25, 2001 - WWE No Way Out 2001
  • Raven 11 - March 19, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Kane - April 1, 2001 - WWE WrestleMania 17
  • Rhyno - April 19, 2001 - WWE SmackDown
  • Big Show 2 - May 21, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Chris Jericho - May 28, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Rhyno 2 - May 28, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Test 2 - June 16, 2001 - WWE SmackDown
  • Rhyno 3 - June 25, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Mike Awesome - June 25, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Jeff Hardy - July 12, 2001 - WWE SmackDown
  • Rob Van Dam - July 22, 2001 - WWF Invasion
  • Jeff Hardy 2 - August 13, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Rob Van Dam - 2 - August 19, 2001 - WWE SummerSlam 2001
  • Kurt Angle - September 10, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • Rob Van Dam 3 - September 10, 2001 - WWE Raw is War
  • The Undertaker - December 9, 2001 - WWE Vengeance 2001
  • Maven - February 7, 2002 - WWE SmackDown
  • Goldust - February 26, 2002 - WWE SmackDown
  • Al Snow 6 - March 11, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Maven 2 - March 14, 2002 - WWE SmackDown
  • Spike Dudley - March 17, 2002 - WWE WrestleMania 18
  • The Hurricane - March 17, 2002 - WWE WrestleMania 18
  • Mighty Molly - March 17, 2002 - WWE WrestleMania 18
  • Christian - March 17, 2002 - WWE WrestleMania 18
  • Maven 3 - March 17, 2002 - WWE WrestleMania 18
  • Raven 12 - March 28, 2002 - WWE SmackDown
  • Bubba Ray Dudley - April 1, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • William Regal - April 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 2 - April 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 13 - April 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 2 - April 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • William Regal 2 - April 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 3 - April 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 14 - April 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 3 - April 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • William Regal 3 - April 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 2 - April 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 4 - April 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 4 - April 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • William Regal 4 - April 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 2 - April 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 5 - April 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 3 - April 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • William Regal 5 - April 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 4 - April 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 6 - April 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 6 - April 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 15 - April 15, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Tommy Dreamer - April 15, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Steven Richards -April 15, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 5 - April 15, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Goldust 7 - April 19, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 16 - April 19, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 8 - April 19, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 8 - April 20, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 17 - April 20, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 9 - April 20, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 2 - April 29, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Tommy Dreamer 2 - May 1, 2002 - Live Event
  • Goldust 9 - May 1, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 3 - May 1, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak - May 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible - May 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 15 - May 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 4 - May 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 2 - May 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 5 - May 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 16 - May 3, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 6 - May 3, 2002 - Live Event
  • Booker T - May 4, 2002 - WWE Insurrextion 2002
  • Crash Holly 17 - May 4, 2002 - WWE Insurrextion 2002
  • Booker T 2 - May 4, 2002 - WWE Insurrextion 2002
  • Steven Richards 7 - May 4, 2002 - WWE Insurrextion 2002
  • Bubba Ray Dudley 10 - May 6, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Raven 18 - May 6, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Justin Credible 2 - May 6, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Crash Holly 18 - May 6, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Trish Stratus - May 6, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Steven Richards 8 - May 6, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Tommy Dreamer 3 - May 25, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 19 - May 25, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 9 - May 25, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 4 -May 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 20 - May 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 10 - May 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Terri - May 27, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Steven Richards 11 - May 27, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Tommy Dreamer 5 - June 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 21 - June 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 12 - June 2, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw - June 3, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Raven 22 - June 22, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 5 - June 22, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 3 - June 22, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 2 - June 22, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 4 - June 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 6 - June 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 13 - June 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 3 - June 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 5 - June 29, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 7 - June 29, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 14 - June 29, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 4 - June 29, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 23 - June 30, 2002 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 19 - June 30, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 15 - June 30, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 5 - June 30, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 16 - July 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 20 - July 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Christopher Nowinski - July 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 6 - July 6, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 17 - July 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Crash Holly 21 - July 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Christopher Nowinski 2 - 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 7 - July 7, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible 3 - July 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Spike Dudley 8 - July 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Big Show 3 - July 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 8 - July 12, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible 4 - July 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 6 - July 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 9 - July 13, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible 5 - July 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 7 - July 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 10 - July 14, 2002 - Live Event
  • Johnny Stamboli - July 15, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Bradshaw 11 - July 15, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Johnny Stamboli 2 July 22, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Bradshaw 12 - July 22, 2002 [ WWE Raw
  • Raven 24 - July 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible 6 - July 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 8 - July 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 13 - July 26, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 25 - July 27, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible 7 - July 27, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 9 - July 27, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 14 - July 27, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 26 - July 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Justin Credible 8 - July 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 10 - July 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 15 - July 28, 2002 - Live Event
  • Jeff Hardy 3 - July 29, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Johnny Stamboli 3 - July 29, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Tommy Dreamer 6 - July 29, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Bradshaw 16 - August 3, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 7 - August 3, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 17 - August 4, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 8 - August 4, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 11 - August 9, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 18 - August 9, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 9 - August 9, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 12 - August 10, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 19 - August 10, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 10 - August 10, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 13 - August 11, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 20 - August 11, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 11 - August 11, 2002 - Live Event
  • Raven 27 - August 17, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 14 - August 17, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 12 - August 17, 2002 - Live Event
  • Shawn Stasiak 15 - August 18, 2002 - Live Event
  • Steven Richards 21 - August 18, 2002 - Live Event
  • Tommy Dreamer 13 - August 18, 2002 - Live Event
  • Bradshaw 18 - August 19, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Crash Holly 22 - August 19, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Tommy Dreamer 14 - August 19, 2002 - WWE Raw
  • Rob Van Dam 4 - August 26, 2002 - WWE Raw

UNIFIED - August 26 2002 - Unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship

See AlsoEdit

WWE, WWE Championships

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